In past times, it has been called Mai or Mait by Chinese traders and, by Spaniards, as Mina de Oro (meaning “gold mine”) from where the island got its current name. The island was once a single province from 1920 to 1950 when it was divided into its two present-day provinces, Occidental Mindoro and Oriental Mindoro.
According to the late historian William Henry Scott, an entry in the official history of the Sung Dynasty for the year 972 mentions Ma-i as a trading partner of China. Other Chinese records referring to Ma-i or Mindoro appear in the years that follow.
Prehispanic Source Materials enumerates the products that Mindoro traders exchanged with the Chinese as “beeswax, cotton, true pearls, tortoise shell, medicinal betelnuts and yu-ta [jute?] cloth” for Chinese porcelain, trade gold, iron pots, lead, colored glass beads and iron needles.
The island was the location of the Battle of Mindoro in World War II
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